All posts by SusanMDoig

Susan's passion for energy conservation, sustainability and creating community have fuelled her desire to develop the family small acreage on Vancouver island into a permaculture based farm and learning centre.

… or where’s the beer!

This week could be… finding your way around… or settling into the routine of school… or where’s the beer!

And so the first email of the week begins…

Photo #1 “So here are my room mates and the New Zealand/New Guinea From the left, roomies, Jason from Kansas, Simon from Australia, Brian from California, Leonard (behind) Mauri from New Zealand, Mesepa same, and Pascal from New Guinea. Missing is Leonard’s fiancé, and of course me.” Continue reading … or where’s the beer!

Earthship Academy Week 1

Today is exactly 2 weeks since Tony left, and the end of week 1 of his apprenticeship at the Earthship Academy in Taos, New Mexico.

I just received a series of emails containing photos of the week.  I’ll post some to the Photo Stream section- when Tony’s back we can edit and add descriptions to them. Continue reading Earthship Academy Week 1

Our Journey

Tony and I are setting off to start a new life… it’s going to take some time for everything to fall into place, but we’ve been talking about and planning this for months. The house we will be building is going to be really special and will reflect our values, our passion for sustainability, love of nature and desire to build community.

Tony is very technical with lots of experience tinkering, rebuilding cars and doing home renovations. He easily understands the big picture and can break it down into bite size pieces. Also, he never gives up! I think being unafraid to try new things is going to be really important as we move this project forward.

People’s reaction? Continue reading Our Journey

Our Garden Box

One of my projects at Capilano University has been to create a community garden on campus.  The garden is an amazing space, one that brings people together to grow things, share gardening knowledge and a quiet space to relax; these experiences are helping to build the campus community for students and employees along with our neighbours in the surrounding townhomes.

The garden was officially opened on Earth Day in 2013 – with Tony and I planting our first community garden box a few weeks earlier.

We learned a lot that summer including:

  • consistent water is important
  • knowing what plants to plant together – and which do better apart
  • planting things you love to eat
  • eat what you plant!

In the fall of 2013 I planted 16 garlic cloves; today we harvested them.  YUMMMM…. I know it’s not going to be enough for our use for the whole year – garlic is a real favourite at our house – I’ll have to supplement with organic garlic from local farmers’ markets.  But I am ok with that.

We planted carrots, beets, corn, scarlet runner beans, squash, hot peppers, red peppers and kale.  So far this year I’ve learned…

  • pick frequently
  • 3 sisters planting for beans, corn and squash works
  • it’s fun to sit in the garden and eat what you picked

The garlic is drying in the garage, as soon as it is dry enough, I’m going to braid it.  I’ve been busy watching youtube videos to learn how.  Here’s one that I really enjoyed by the GardenNerd.com

This fall (2014) I plan to plant more garlic,closer together, using some of this garlic.  Cool – a closed production loop.

We’re seriously considering an in-door greenhouse in our passive home, having a community garden is building the knowledge we’ll need to have to grow food successfully.